A Telescope for Social Justice: No White Men Need Apply

A cosmic storm is roiling the Astrophysics community. Focused on the name of a NASA space telescope, the controversy is one more in a decade-long whirlwind of accusation that has made clear to straight white men that their days of pursuing science free of guilt and obeisance are decisively over. 

As an academic field, Astrophysics became 'woke’ years ago and is now one of the most rigidly doctrinaire of the hard sciences. It has seen numerous purity campaigns against non-believers, first against insufficiently feminist-compliant men. A blog called Women in Astronomy promotes indignant tales of female suffering, profiling young women shattered when men expressed sexual or romantic interest, or deeply hurt when researcher Matt Taylor, whose team put a space probe on a comet, appeared on television wearing an ‘inappropriate’ shirt

In one of the field’s most public spats about female victimhood, renowned Italian particle physicist Alessandro Strumia was ejected from CERN, the prestigious European center for high-energy physics research, after he presented a meticulously documented conference paper arguing that the targeted hiring of women into STEM positions was neither necessary nor wise. For this, he was denounced as a misogynist in a histrionic open letter by Particles for Justice, a posse of modern-day Puritans who hunt academic thought criminals, led by New Hampshire University physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a self-described “activist for equality in science” and AI researcher Brian Nord of the University of Chicago.

On guard against toxic masculinity.

Strumia need not have bothered. Fealty to the principles of “diversity,” especially to the dogma that women and people of color should always be hired and promoted over white men, is now an accepted requirement in Astronomy departments across the western world. Denunciations of misogyny, heterosexism, and anti-blackness have become the primary preoccupations of many astronomy researchers, at least some of whom seem to spend far more time and energy agitating for social justice than studying the heavens. Last year, these crusaders organized a one-day Strike for Black Lives, during which they stopped work to discuss white supremacy (it says something about the nature of their work that nobody noticed the stoppage) and joined with Indigenous activists to prevent the building of the world’s largest telescope on Mauna Kea, a Hawaiian mountain deemed sacred.

The latest ideological conflict is more purely symbolic. It concerns NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the flagship NASA project due for official launch later this year. According to NASA’s website, the Webb will be “the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built and launched into space,” and will provide unprecedented opportunities for research on the origins of galaxies as well as on stars and planetary systems in process of formation. Complementing and extending the work made possible by the Hubble, Webb will revolutionize insight into our universe.

James E. Webb (1906-1992) was NASA’s administrator in the years 1961-1968, shepherding NASA through what was arguably its period of most outstanding progress. He transformed the agency into a highly focused research organization intent on achieving manned flight and a moon landing. It was as a result of Webb’s prescience that NASA developed rockets not only for military and propaganda purposes but for scientific ones as well, with the aim of using American technology to learn about Earth’s solar system and beyond. Without that focus, the Hubble would never have been constructed and astronomical research would have been set back by decades. Every astronomer working today owes a debt to Webb. 

But gratitude is in short supply among today’s warriors for social justice, who object to honoring Webb’s memory. Led by Particles for Justice founders Prescod-Weinstein and Nord, and joined by Sarah Tuttle and Lucianne Walkowicz, they are lobbying NASA to find a more suitable (i.e. non-white and non-male) candidate, one who represents “our highest values” for which they conveniently nominate themselves the arbiters. Webb is disqualified because of a less than pristine personal history as a government official during the Cold War. 

James Webb: on trial for insufficient Wokeness.

According to the four doyennes of woke Astronomy, who recently published in Scientific American their argument for why “The James Webb Space Telescope Needs to Be Renamed,” Webb was complicit “in homophobic discrimination in the federal government.” It is now well known that federal government employees who were homosexual were believed particularly vulnerable to blackmail by Soviet agents; Webb worked for the federal government at the time the policy of barring homosexual employees from the civil service was discussed and implemented, resulting in hundreds of firings over a period of more than a decade. 

It is not known that Webb himself pursued the policy with any zeal—or even that he did anything more than passively acquiesce, as the vast majority of people today acquiesce in workplace policies that may, more than half a century from now, be deemed discriminatory and unjust—but for the proponents of LGBTQ liberation, he was “a facilitator” of homophobia who deserves to be purged in turn. The sum total of the case against Webb deserves to be quoted at length so as to reveal its lack of substance:

When he arrived at NASA in 1961, his leadership role meant he was in part responsible for implementing what was by then federal policy: the purging of LGBT individuals from the workforce. When he was at State, this policy was enforced by those who worked under him. As early as 1950, he was aware of this policy, which was a forerunner to the antigay witch hunt known today as the lavender scare. Historian David K. Johnson’s 2004 book on the subject, The Lavender Scare, discusses archival evidence indicating that Webb, along with others in State Department leadership, was involved in Senate discussions that ultimately kicked off a devastating series of federal policies.

In other words, there is no evidence whatsoever that Webb himself favored, developed, or actively implemented anti-gay legislation. He was, in the authors’ deliberately vague words, “in part responsible” and “aware” of a policy “enforced by [others].” The worst that can be said, it seems, is that “there is no record of him choosing to stand up for the humanity of those being persecuted.” Note, here, how absence of evidence becomes evidence of absence, a classic logical fallacy.

The question that remains is what any of this has to do with a space telescope; or, more specifically, why the astronomy research community should care about James Webb’s failure to be a pro-gay activist at a time when being one would almost certainly have accomplished nothing aside from the sabotaging of his own career, likely with the result that he would never have been able to promote astronomical research at NASA.

The anti-Webb activists have no answer except the melodramatic assertion that “many queer scientists fundamentally do not feel safe in their workplaces” today and a febrile rhetorical question: “What signal does it send,” they ask, “to current and future generations of scientists when we prioritize the legacies of complicit government officials over the dreams of the next generation?” 

I’m not sure who nominated these authors the adjudicators of the next generation’s dreams, but even conceding them such authority cannot disguise their use of a false dilemma. Naming a telescope after Webb doesn’t send any particular signal about gay rights, now firmly established in American law and attitudes. If the naming sends any signal, it is simply that a man like Webb deserves recognition for his demonstrated contribution to astronomical research. 

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Maybe you should.

Purging him, on the other hand, sends a stark signal about the runaway craze of cancel culture, confirming that decades after one’s death, one’s legitimate achievements can be smeared by activists who comb through every recorded utterance and action to find the taint of a retroactively-imposed ethical failure. So convinced are the authors that they have arrived at the end of history that they cannot imagine themselves condemned for an insufficient defense of another’s humanity.

The authors’ choice to replace Webb is almost laughably formulaic. They advocate the telescope’s renaming after an escaped 19th century slave woman and abolitionist, Harriet Tubman. It is not known that Tubman ever gave a thought to astronomical research, but the activists claim that she “almost certainly used the North Star […] to navigate her way to freedom.” If that seems a tenuous connection to high-level astronomical research, then you undoubtedly haven’t engaged in an extensive enough consideration of white male evil. As we are informed, “The time for lionizing leaders who acquiesced in a history of harm is over.” That puts 99.9 percent of the people who lived before us in the west firmly out of the running for commemoration.

Harriet Tubman: hidden figure?

Anyone thinking that a call of such manifest over-reach might be ignored has not taken the febrile temperature of Departments of Astrophysics over the last decade. The appeal has received widespread support, with signatories to petitions registering their opposition to Webb’s memorialization, and NASA officials now running scared. A ponderous article “NASA investigates renaming James Webb telescope after anti-LGBT + claims” explains that NASA officials are reviewing archival documents to investigate the extent of Webb’s “crimes” and will render a decision upon completion of the investigation. 

In the short term, NASA officials have little to gain and much to lose in standing firm for Webb. I won’t be surprised if the agency announces, after a suitable period of consideration, that it has found a progressive icon to replace the discredited white man. 

Like the forced acquiescence of sports teams, browbeaten into changing their names or removing mascots and logos, the chastisement and bullying of NASA will set an extraordinary precedent. Why should demands halt with Webb? How is it that the Hubble Space Telescope has retained its imprimatur: surely something insalubrious could be found in the life of its namesake? Why not purge all scientific instruments and discoveries of harmful white male names, beginning with Halley’s Comet, Newton’s Laws of Motion, and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity? Only time will tell which pale male will be next in line for elimination.

Four Kuestions for Klimate Kultists

The Kult of the Warmers™ insists that the Earth is getting hotter. And that this is a problem. They aren’t sure why it’s a problem. Or why (and here, here, here) it’s getting hotter. If, in fact, it is getting hotter (or cooler?). But they demand to re-arrange our entire global economy “to stop earth from getting hotter.”

Whoever is running President Biden has issued an Executive Order to take away from Americans 30 percent of America and “conserve” it to stop what is not going on:

…report to the Task Force within 90 days of the date of this order recommending steps that the United States should take … to achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.

If the Warmists are correct, what’s the problem? Scientists are looking for habitable planets with an average temperature 5° (C) hotter than earth for a reason. If the ideal planet is 5° (C) warmer, we are panicking over an increase of 3.2° (C), because…? If the follow-the-scientists are correct, “…higher temperatures than currently existing on Earth seem to be more favorable,” and "Essentially, it would be slightly older, bigger, warmer and wetter than Earth." (Emphasis mine).

Now pay attention, kids.

Four questions.

  1. What evidence shows the Earth is getting hotter?

There isn’t any. This is a politico-religio fantasy lacking factual support. No temperature data set supports a warming earth. The data they use constantly are altered, both in the current time (to show it is hotter than it is) and in the past time (to show it was cooler than it was). This allows Warmists to insist that the curve is steepening and… we’re all going to die. Probably in twelve years.

One credible datapoint of warming does exist. Cities are heat islands. This makes sense both from the standpoint of human density (offices, apartments, suburbs) and human activity (manufacturing, distribution, riots, data centers, transportation of millions of people). Remove metros from the averages and we actually may have global cooling:

Since consistent record-keeping began in 1895, the average temperature in the United States has increased by 1.3 to 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 to 1.1° Celsius).


City regions can typically have air temperatures warmer than surrounding rural environments by anywhere from 1 to 15 degrees F.

If the national median temperature has increased 1.6° F, and if cities have increased (median) 7.5° F, simple arithmetic would say the rest of the country (world?) may well be cooling.

If solar radiation occurs in conjunction with water availability, summer conditions cause strong surface urban heat island intensities due to high rates of evaporative cooling in surrounding rural areas. The rural areas grow cooler by a few degrees, while the urban area … grows much warmer.

If this brings to mind the 1974 Time magazine article, “Another Ice Age?” or the 1975 Newsweek piece, “The Cooling World,” welcome to the club.

Perhaps only our SUVs are preventing Snowball Earth? If it is only the warming cities keeping us from being squashed under two miles of ice – buy another Suburban. Please.

Warmer or colder?

  1. What are their suggestions to reverse said warming?

Well, they have quite a few. Not that they actually believe in any of them. If they did, you’d see them following their own suggestions. Al The-Earth-Has-A-Temperature Gore would not live in a mansion and use more energy than 21 average families and Barack The-Rise-of-the-Oceans-Began-to-Slow Obama would not buy a $15 million mansion on a tiny, low, flat Atlantic island.

  1. Why is working to stop warming a positive good?

The Kultists say it will help the economy. But it won’t. It will create lots of good-paying “green” jobs. Actually, there is less evidence of this than of warming – so, no. (Here's the real answer.) We can move on to more modern technology – like electric cars. Umm…. Doesn’t seem like it… 

  1. What are the reasons they say that warming is bad?

Well.. they say we’ll have more and more violent storms. The IPCC itself refutes this:

There is low confidence that any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity are robust…

They say we’ll have less food. Not true.  That the global coffee crop will collapse. Nope.  That more people will die of heat than of cold. Uh-uh. That the oceans are rising and will flood-out billions of people.

Let’s look at that last one for a moment. This has been a driver of the Warmists for decades. Ever since the now-thoroughly-debunked “Hockey Stick” fable and pictographs first were told around a campfire.

Liar, liar, hair on fire.

Just under half-a-billion people live within two vertical meters of sea level. If the oceans were to rise two meters via melting ice caps or major storms pushing before them a huge surge, these people would be flooded out. Ergo, we must stop the rise of the seas!

But, wait! One of the same major governmental agencies coloring outside its lines to sell us global warming (NASA - I’m still looking for “oceans” or “warming” in the words “National Aeronautics and Space Administration,” but I digress) now tells us that the moon … wobbles. (Yes, this is the same cohort looking for a planet that is warmer…)

For those who missed elementary school this might be news, but for the rest of us: The moon always has wobbled. It’s what happens when 704 quintillion tons of rock collide with 6 sextillion tons of rock, blasting off a sixth of the combined volume to coalesce into 80 quintillion tons of rock a quarter of a million miles away with no outside force acting to slow the wobble, and a few massive, constantly-moving items (Sun, Jupiter, Earth) tugging in ever-different directions acting on it to increase the wobble.

If the wobble increases, the tides magnify and... coastal flooding occurs.

If moon wobble is going to flood the coastal plains regardless of how many Chevy Suburbans we buy, how many gasoline vs electric vehicles transport us, how many cubic miles of the earth we tear up while strip-mining rare earth elements to make solar panels with which we virtue-signal one another for a few years before throwing these toxic things into in a landfill, and of how many 300-foot-tall bird Cuisinarts (573,000 chopped birds annually in the USA) we install Not-In-My-Backyard… what then?

I don’t know what then. Call Bekins? But deep down in the quiet recesses of my mind I see generations of new protestors demanding we “Stop The Wobble!” We can call them “Wobblies.”

As the man said – everything old is new again.

Global Warmists Go Disney

“The more one has paid for a forgery, the more one defends it in the face of all the evidence to the contrary,” writes John Le Carré in his novel about espionage and deception, Smiley’s People. This certainly seems to be the case with the four major weather-tracking agencies—the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain; the Christy group at the University of Alabama; the Remote Sensing Systems Inc. in California; and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York (GISS).

In a previous article for The Pipeline, I examined the malfeasance of the influential Hadley Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where two major email dumps (aka “Climategate”) showed the outfit’s determined efforts to fudge the data, suppress unfavorable results and eliminate dissenting voices. This should have put paid to the "global warming" farce once and for all, but the deception shows no sign of abating. 

The reason seems obvious. The entire climate consortium has invested its resources into perpetuating the racket by whatever means it can come up with, slandering its opponents, merchandising outright lies that would make Pinocchio blush ("Right and wrong? But how will I know?"), and inflating temperature data. To take one example from myriads, the Goddard Institute, which feeds the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has no thermometers north of eighty degrees latitude and so extrapolated its readings from its more southerly apparatus to pump up the global average. In fact, GISS Arctic anomalies are high by as much as 4 degrees. 

As Larry Bell, author of the richly informative Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind The Global Warming Hoax, reports in Forbes, Goddard data is unreliable. He quotes a certain Dr. Ruedy of GISS who confessed in an email that data are not routinely kept up-to-date, and that NASA had inflated its temperature data since 2000 on a questionable basis. “NASA's assumption that the adjustments made the older data consistent with future data…may not have been correct,” Ruedy said. Plus ça change.

It seems the so-called scientists working at such institutes just pull their figures out of a hat. No wonder that the Goddard/NOAA bunch advertised for magicians—you read this right—to conduct seminars featuring “magic tricks, puzzles, brain teasers, word games… designed to demonstrate how to… practice needed skills and competencies.” This is an outright invitation to scientific fraud.

Former American Under-Secretary of State Tim Wirth has gone on record justifying scientific fraud. “Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,” he said, “we will be doing the right thing.” How doing the right thing by perpetrating the wrong thing is a conundrum only a climate advocate can propound.

Frank Tipler, professor of mathematical physics at Tulane University, has diagnosed the problem clearly. “How did we ever come to this?” he asks, and answers: “Government financing of scientific research caused it.” The political establishment, in its quest to gain ever-increasing control of public and economic life, has seen to it that AGW ("anthropogenic global warming") scientists are “the only ones with federal grants,” and, moreover, that these malleable scientists “are much more likely to get university jobs, since universities are now almost wholly dependent on federal money… Soon there are none but true believers in the field: a consensus has been reached!”

Many of the major scientific journals have also been adulterated as a result. William Gray, professor emeritus of the atmosphere department of Colorado State University, laments that “fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong. But they also know that they’d never get any grants if they spoke out.”

These scientists don’t seem to care that the climate hoax will cost the polity of the Western world a bundle, leading inevitably to economic catastrophe. As Anthony O’Hear, editor of the journal Philosophy, points out, global warming “will bankrupt the developed nations of the West by driving fuel costs up unsustainably, reduc[ing] the influence and prosperity of nation states in the face of a ‘global’ threat.” Millions of jobs will be lost in the developed world and the quality of life in the industrialized nations will sink to substandard levels. 

Moreover, the Third World will be deprived of the minimal essentials, immunities, comforts and amenities to which it aspires. Fiona Kobusingye, coordinator of the Congress of Racial Equality Uganda, condemns in no uncertain terms the attempt to impose energy restrictions on African nations in the name of fighting global warming. “These policies kill,” she writes. As for Warmist-in-Chief Al Gore, he “uses more electricity in a week than 28 million Ugandans together use in a year.” Her conclusion: “Telling Africans they can’t have electricity—except what can be produced with some wind turbines or little solar panels—is immoral. It is a crime against humanity.”

But too many people, corporations and enterprises are raking in enormous profits from the climate boondoggle. What Paul Driessen, author of Eco-Imperialism Green Power Black Death and co-author of Cracking Big Green, calls the Climate Industrial Complex is a $2 trillion per year business based on a “steady diet of false information and alarmism.” Driessen shows how “the growing gap between computer model predictions and satellite temperature measurements, as well as questions about data manipulation by scientists advocating the dangerous manmade climate change narrative” are sufficient to scuttle the entire eco-globalist project. The truth is that massive Green alternatives “are not workable, affordable, green, renewable, ethical, ecological or sustainable,” though they are obscenely lucrative for their proponents.

Climate alarmists will fight tooth and nail to keep the truth from getting out. Writing in Climate Realism, Anthony Watts advises “pushing against a group-think narrative and exposing the lies and real misinformation surrounding the climate scare.” Climate alarmists retaliate against exposure by “using dirty tricks like labeling [their critics] as if they were radical enemies of the state, worthy of imprisonment in the gulag.” Indeed, a gaggle of “University of Exeter professors, advocate[s] fines and imprisonment for people publishing ‘climate misinformation’…It gets worse. An ugly theatrical play, called Kill Climate Deniers, was even created in Australia about the issue.”

This is an old story by now. James Hansen at the Goddard Institute employed the same scary, autocratic sentiment, urging that CEOs of fossil energy companies “should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.” Similarly, British lawyer Polly Higgins, author of Eradicating Ecocide, petitions the United Nations to define “ecocide” as a punishable crime and to prosecute “climate deniers” for “crimes against peace.” Consider, too, the authoritarian looniness of Canada’s own David Suzuki who, addressing the McGill University Business Conference on Sustainability on January 31, 2008, stated: “What I would challenge you to do is put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there’s a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they’re doing is a criminal act.”

The hypocrisy is staggering. In Not for Greens, Ian Plimer uses the example of a stainless steel teaspoon to show that neither wind, solar nor biomass energy could have produced such an artifact. This is the argument from extrapolation: none of the technological, industrial and agricultural infrastructures, the safety measures, the medical advances, the devices and appliances we casually and indiscriminately use and rely on every moment of our lives would have been possible under a Green dispensation. The Greenies were born with a stainless steel teaspoon in their mouths, which a moment of honest reflection would tell them they could not do without. 

Rupert Darwall in Green Tyranny: Exposing the Totalitarian Roots of the Climate Industrial Complex, reveals how in pursuing its repressive agenda, “the Red-Green coalition upped its institutional firepower” by recruiting some of the world’s most influential energy agencies, banks, insurance groups, foundations, and even the Catholic Church under Pope Francis via the Pontifical Academy of Science. He continues: “the effect of wall-to-wall government-and-foundation-funded green propaganda is not so much to silence dissenting voices as to asphyxiate them.”

The complicity of high finance, as potently influential as it is entirely misguided, is well illustrated by the CEO of the $7 trillion BlackRock asset manager firm David Fink, who said, as The New York Times reports, “BlackRock would begin to exit certain investments that ‘present a high sustainability-related risk’… [thus encouraging] every company, not just energy firms, to rethink their carbon footprints.” Fink went on to say, as if in emulation of Tim Wirth, that “even if only a fraction of the science is right today, this is a much more structural, long-term crisis.”

The issue, however, has nothing to do with fractions; the problem is that nearly all of the accepted science is wrong today. People like Fink are not solving a crisis, they are helping to create it. One is sometimes hard put to decide whether our Global Warmists are shrewdly calculating or vastly ignorant.

The kindling of environmental fright has given these radical enthusiasts, corporate plutocrats, statist visionaries, Davos elitists, power-seekers and global technocrats the “green light” to legislative domination of Western electorates and the projected reorganization of society along synodic or absolutist lines. Writing for the Mises Institute, economics professor Antony P. Mueller warns that

Under the auspices of the World Economic Forum (WEF)), global policymakers are advocating for a ‘Great Reset’ with the intent of creating a global technocracy [whose] agenda says that the completion of the current industrial revolution requires a thorough overhaul of the economy, politics, and society.

The new social contract instructs us, among other things, that “climate change requires us ‘to decarbonize the economy’ and to bring human thinking and behavior ‘into harmony with nature.’” Mueller points out that the ideology of the Great Reset “includes many elements of earlier collectivist ideologies.”

And so it does. As founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab writes, we are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, “blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.” This will affect “our identity and all the issues associated with it… leading to a “quantified” self [and assuring that] “governments will gain new technological powers to increase their control over populations, based on pervasive surveillance systems and the ability to control digital infrastructure.” 

“What's a conscience?"

This is one of the main planks in the Democratic Party platform to reduce the United States to a command and control economy—in Joe Biden’s words, to “create millions of good-paying union jobs”—nota bene, union jobs—by financing a slew of projects and “"to meet the climate crisis.” This is cartoon thinking. As Heartland Institute editor Chris Talgo writes, Biden’s $2 trillion energy plan “will implement social justice via a convoluted and nonsensical attack on the energy industry,” resulting in monumental debt, hundreds of thousands of jobs lost, and an unaffordable as well as unreliable power grid.

Canada, of course, is wholly and officially on board with the climate hysteria syndrome wreaking havoc on an energy industry that accounts for a fifth of Canada’s exports and further intensifying the country’s economic miseries. Bill C-69, known as the pipeline killer, looks set to drive investment out of the country. Pipeline construction to tidewater is a dead letter. Pipeline builders like TC Energy Corp., Kinder Morgan Inc., Keystone XL and Enbridge Inc. are being put to sleep, energy companies like Encana and others are moving away to more hospitable climes, the Alberta oil sands, in Trudeau’s own words, will be gradually “phased out” of operation, and Trudeau has signed on to the crippling Paris Climate Agreement from which the U.S. under Donald Trump has wisely withdrawn. Indeed, major energy producers like China and India have also opted out. 

As Rex Murphy writes of our feckless prime minister, “you can choose Paris, or you can choose Calgary. And up to now, it’s been Paris all the way.” Conrad Black also points to a PM who “wages war on Alberta and the oil and gas industries for spurious climatic reasons,” who leads “the derelict hulk of contemporary liberal (and Liberal) pseudo-virtuous tokenism,” and who ensures that we continue “failing to make our way in a Darwinian world.”

Not only is the price tag for these policies and developments prohibitive, they consort with the Liberal agenda to bring the country’s economic sector under increased government sway in accord with the socialist project to place competitive and prosperous free-market societies under hegemonic state control. "Global warming" is a totalitarian’s dream come true, eventuating in a renewed primitivism for the majority of the population. The masters will prosper but the servants, those who elect them, have forgotten the old joke: What did the socialists use before candles? Electricity.

Eco-fanatics and their Warmist brethren accuse skeptics and so-called “deniers” of being oblivious to the health of the environment, but once again they are egregiously wrong. No one opposes reduced impact logging and sustainable forest management, measures for reducing air pollution, or the practice of cleaning up our rivers, all agreed-upon initiatives that have nothing to do with “climate change.” Rich Trzupek justly points to the “distinctions that separate healthy environmental protection from irrational ecological puritanism.” The confusion between environment and climate, whether ignorant or deliberate, is but another arrow in the Warmist quiver.

The three defining characteristics of the “climate change” movement should by this time have become obvious:

  1. Data falsification
  2. Profit
  3. Ostracism of dissenting voices

“Cancel culture” was a staple of the  Climate-Industrial Complex long before it became a Leftist issue of the day. One might add a fourth feature: fantasticality. Serious conviction has been largely replaced by earnest frivolity. The eco-celebrants are a fervid congregation of believers, do-gooders, talking heads, Leftist apparatchiks, academic elitists, cynical exploiters, eco-fascists, petty despots and saints-in-the-making, all chanting together the holy mantra of climate warming.

"Quiet! Let's get out of here before something else happens.”

The fact is that Project Climate is no less a fantasy than another Disney cartoon, Futurama, in particular the Into the Wild Green Yonder episode with its silly eco-feministas, its Martian muck leech, and the planet-destroying Dark Ones—though, of course, the best scientists and most informed laymen would be considered as the latter’s real-world equivalents. For the Global Warming movement is a sacrosanct object of national and cultural worship and the occupants of the Planet Express starship with its precious cargo of eco-feministas and hangers-on must be protected at all costs. 

We should give the last word to Paul Driessen. It is time, he urges, to “stand up to these Climate Totalitarians who want to destroy our nation, in the name of saving the planet from climate disasters that exist only in computer models, Hollywood movies, and self-serving assertions by the Climate Industrial Complex. Alarmists have controlled the climate narrative thus far. Now we need to give other experts a chance to weigh in, loud and clear.”

'Climate Cassandras' -- Plus ça Change

Remember “Anthropogenic Global Warming”?  “Global warming” became “climate change” because the warming… didn’t exist. It still doesn’t. The global temperature has, since 1997, flattened. This is explained-away by the climate alarmists as a “pause.” The problem? Here’s TIME magazine in 1974:

However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

"Three decades." Or since circa 1944. Added to the 1997 – 2014 “pause,” the global temperature has been cooling or flat for at least 47 of the past 76 years, or more than half the time. And this as post-war prosperity accelerated and hundreds of millions of people increased their use of carbon-based fuels to enter into and prosper from the Industrial Age.

Exactly zero temperature data sets exist supporting warming. None. Never have. Sure – a few data sets exist by once-reputable climate science organizations (NASA, East Anglia / CRU), but those are re-manipulated every few years to show whatever curve is required to support the climate alarmism-of-the-day. This manipulation is of the original data sets, both at the upper end (“The earth has a temperature!”) and at the lower end (“See how fast the temperature is increasing?!”). The original data did not show the temperature increase or steeper slope demanded by the alarmists, so the data were … adjusted. This is called many things, but “science” is not one of them.

Remember the “Hockey Stick” curve that started all this? This “curve” has been the subject of constant controversy since its creation, the foundation of Al Gore’s ridiculous film – and the basis for world governments to waste hundreds of billions (trillions?) of our dollars. The problem? The curve doesn’t exist.

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MIT also rejected the 'hockey stick' and the algorithm that created it, noting that random numbers provide a similar curve and fundamental mistakes are present in the underlying math. A large body of “science” supports the AGW argument, though, right?  Don’t 97 percent of scientists support "Climate Change"?

In a word? No.

Why, then, do so many researchers and academics support it? Here’s the answer from Dr. Richard Lindzen, the now-retired Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

It was the narrative from the beginning. In 1998, [NASA’s James] Hansen made some vague remarks. Newsweek ran a cover that says all scientists agree. Now they never really tell you what they agree on. It is propaganda.

So all scientists agree it’s probably warmer now than it was at the end of the Little Ice Age. Almost all Scientists agree that if you add CO2 you will have some warming. Maybe very little warming. But it is propaganda to translate that into it is dangerous and we must reduce CO2 etc.

If you can make an ambiguous remark and you have people who will amplify it ‘they said it not me’ and the response of the political system is to increase your funding, what’s not to like?

For the Left, “Science” is spelled “capitali$m,” as most “research” papers supporting “climate change” are written for, or occasioned by, grant money. We have a surfeit of unsupported climate fantasy funded by NGOs, academia and “philanthropic” organizations because academics can be greedy. They see Big Dollars or Big Careers (which equals Big Dollars) in supporting the climate flavor-of-the-month fixation of Big Government or Big Philanthropy. Whatever those organizations are demanding, they supply: the same kind of capitalism the Left is burning down America to protest.

Climate change policies are about one thing: collectivism. The ruling class rejecting the rising individualist middle class of the Western world and billing us for that rejection. It’s about rejecting the voice of people globally, people who, because of the internet and information awareness, now are knowledgeable of how badly and for how long the various Western governments have been and are continuing to screw their citizens.

Notice who the climate change “deniers” are: middle class Western individualists, while the climate change True Believers are anti-Western collectivists. Who makes the world go-round? Individualists (we invent everything). Who mooches off the going-round world? Collectivists (they invent nothing). And now the collectivists want to collect money from the individualists under the unsupported nonsense of “climate change,” usurping the power to choose what to do with our earnings, our property, our life’s work.

Every government needs authority and a common purpose in the eyes of those governed. These can be gained via both external and internal threats. Covid-19 masks and unlawful house arrest/lockdowns by some governors and mayors serve to control you. “Climate change” is being used to achieve that common purpose as well. It's all about control.

The data didn’t support anthropogenic global warming, so the name was changed, but the goals are the same: global totalitarian collectivism under our self-anointed betters, the destruction of entire industries, and robbing the West of wealth, progress, liberty and individualism in order to enrich the totalitarian ruling class in the guise of helping the Third World with cleaner air, cleaner water, cleaner parks and playgrounds, and better schools.

When even the globalists at the U.N. admit that the entire climate hoax is not about the climate, but about destroying capitalism, you can be pretty sure that climate change is a feature for the left, not a bug; an excuse to advance totalitarianism and crush the middle class – and to get the middle class to join in, and pay for, its own destruction.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism. "This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution," she said.

We’ve seen this movie before. In the words of Princeton Professor Emeritus of Physics, William Happer, in 2017,

I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the consensus on climate change and the consensus on witches.  At the witch trials in Salem the judges were educated at Harvard. This was supposedly 100 percent science. The one or two people who said there were no witches were immediately hung. Not much has changed.

At least we aren’t hanging “deniers.” Yet.


The Ninety-Seven Percent Problem

Public opinion on global warming/climate change has been relatively stable for some time across the globe. Naturally, there are variations between nations, age-groups, and time-periods, but most surveys show a rough division of opinion between two-thirds of respondents who believe that global warming is largely caused by human activity and a serious threat to the world, and those who are skeptical on both points.

Of some moderate interest is that older people and those on the Right (Republicans, Conservatives, Tories) are somewhat more skeptical than younger people and those on the Left (Democrats, Labourites, etc.) Inevitably, however, the explanations for these examples of partisanship are partisan too.

Are young people more idealistic and global-minded in their concerns? Or are older people simply wiser because they’ve experienced other official “scares” as they've gone around the block? Do Democrats have more trust in government forecasts than the GOP? Or do Republicans have a stronger nervousness about rising costs of policy and the bottom line?

There are no correct answers to these questions because partisan attitudes tend to change when we change the subject. Democrats tend to be more concerned about rising costs when the money is spent on defense programs. Republicans trust official forecasts more when they show that tax cuts cost less or even repay themselves. And so on, and so on.

That said, it’s oddly interesting (i.e., counter-intuitive) that political partisanship seems to operate on global warming as strongly among scientists as among the rest of us. A Pew Research survey for this year’s Earth Day showed that while Democrats with a high degree of scientific knowledge were likely to have a strong belief in the human contribution to climate change, Republicans with the same level of information were much more skeptical.

These are intriguing, even embarrassing, results. The researchers plainly thought so, because they added this somewhat nervous comment on them:

A similar pattern was found regarding people’s beliefs about energy issues. These findings illustrate that the relationship between people’s level of science knowledge and their attitudes can be complex.

And maybe they illustrate something else, too. For these results seem to conflict with perhaps the single best known statistic about science and global warming, namely that 97 per cent of scientists believe in global warming. To unpack that claim, they believe that global warming is happening, it’s man-made, and it’s dangerous. That’s President Obama speaking. Former Secretary of State John Kerry added the word “urgent.” And that’s pretty much the internationally respectable orthodoxy of officialdom and the media. Anyone who dissents from it is labelled a “climate denier” and, as Herbert Spencer said of such judgments a century and a half ago, “nothing he says thereafter need be listened to again."

But that raises a doubt. If ninety-seven per cent of the scientists you meet believe in global warming, how come that many Republicans knowledgeable about science don’t believe them?

The shape of things to come?

That simply wouldn’t happen, and we can say that on scientific grounds. People are sensitive even against their will to the opinions of those around them. As the great sociologist of religion, Peter Berger, pointed out in “A Rumor of Angels” some years ago, if you were marooned on an island inhabited entirely by believers in astrology, you’d be saying six months later that there really might be something in this “governed by the stars” stuff. And if you want brilliant fictional explanation of that, read H.G. Wells’s superb early science fiction short story: "In the Country of the Blind."

That so many people who take science seriously also doubt the orthodoxy of global warming cannot simply be explained as the result of their blind political partisanship. That might bias them but it wouldn’t outweigh the overwhelming testimony of 97 per cent of scientists they either meet or read.

So maybe that 97 per cent is a mistake. Once that question is raised, moreover, it soon becomes clear that whatever that statistic is, it certainly isn’t the unvarnished truth.

If you want the short version of why that is, please have a look at this, in which Dr. John Robson takes you on a witty and entertaining tour of how that statistic was compiled and sold to the world with fun graphics and Ravel’s Bolero as a soothing background.

Among those organizations that suspected something was wrong with 97 percent figure was the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington which, among other tasks, has a watching brief on Green Ideology run amok. The 97 percent claim is an obvious target for the CEI. On July 19 last year, it submitted a formal complaint to NASA, which has on its website the claim that 97 percent of climate scientists agree humans are responsible for global warming.

Though more or less bogus, that claim was a boon to climate skeptics because U.S. government agencies have to meet certain standards when they make such assertions. So they can be held to account for misleading statements. When CEI filed its petition, for instance, it did so under the Information Quality Act (IQA)—pointing out major flaws in studies cited by NASA to justify its claim and asking NASA to remove it from the website and any materials it circulated.

The substantial flaws it finds in the studies include arbitrarily excluding from the surveys scientists who have published peer-reviewed articles in journals of climate science on the grounds that they were not climate scientists; misrepresenting the conclusions of scientific papers, as the scientists concerned later complained, to make them fit the desired conclusion; and above all assigning papers that expressed no opinion on man-made global warming into the 97 per cent column.

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When these failings were corrected, the 97 percent estimate fell massively in all cases to numbers ranging from one-third of climate scientists to 1.6 per cent! As yet the CEI-NASA dispute remains as unsettled as the science now seems to be. If you wish, you can add your signature to the petition CEI has launched, and unless NASA has some almost magical reply to CEI’s documented critique, you probably should.

For the 97 per cent statistic, in addition to looking like a myth, is and always was a club to beat down any criticism of, let alone opposition to, the “international community’s” vastly expensive plans to revolutionize the world’s economy along dirigiste lines. And before it started to wobble under Dr. Robson’s and CEI’s criticism, it also performed the vital function of sustaining the all-but-monolithic support for global warming shown by the statistics of popular opinion quoted at the start of this column.

Now that the key 97 per cent statistic is crumbling, however, how long will the other statistics showing a two-thirds majority believing in mankind's culpability in "climate change" remain dominant, let alone stable?


Setting the Record Straight on the Climate Debate

It is difficult to know to what degree the general public believes the direst forecasts of climate catastrophe after years of having been endlessly frightened by “expert” predictions that have repeatedly failed to materialize, but one thing is certain: the vast majority of us are not hearing both sides of the debate. With most other big controversies, mainstream news generally allow token counterarguments, at least occasionally. Not in this case. Dissent against the prevailing view that humanity drives “climate change” is essentially off-limits on most of the airwaves and in print. Censorship of the opposition is accepted as good journalistic hygiene. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times proudly declared it would no longer accept letters to the editor that challenged the validity of anthropogenic climate change.

Because they control the narrative, climate alarmists are virtually unchallenged, even when they are demonstrably dishonest. No propaganda has been used more effectively by them than claims that the science is “settled” and that 97% of scientists believe humans are the primary cause of global warming, an idea which originated in this paper. What the alarmists would never confess is that the assertion was quickly debunked by Legates, et. al., who wrote,

"In fact, however, there is a decided lack of consensus among scientists, and especially among those who are trained in climate science or have studied it extensively. The 97.1 % consensus claimed by Cook et al. (2013) turns out upon inspection to be not 97.1% but 0.3 %. Their claim of 97.1 % consensus, therefore, is arguably one of the greatest items of misinformation that has been circulated on either side of the climate debate."

Shamefully, even NASA is trafficking in the myth.

Another especially clever persuasion trick, which attempts to cultivate confirmation bias in the alarmists' audience, is to attribute every category of weather outlier to anthropogenic climate change. For example, "climate change" is blamed for stronger tornadoes and weaker tornadoes, shrinking sea ice and growing sea ice, violent hurricane seasons and quiet hurricane seasons, faster winds and slower winds, too much rain and too little rain, coldwaves and of course, heatwaves. If what we read is to be believed, either end of a range of a weather can only be the result of man-made CO2, rather than an intermittent, but perfectly natural, ancient phenomenon. The hucksters and hysterics have made anthropogenic climate change unfalsifiable. Every unpleasant divergence from mild, seasonal weather, they will swear, confirms our impending doom.

Outside of wonkish blogs, scientifically strong counterarguments to the pervasive misinformation are rare. One merely has to Google "climate change" to see how lopsided the leading links are. When a politician with no scientific training, and a sympathetic child manipulated by her elders for cynical reasons are the public faces of the climate debate, we can be certain that the discussion is closer to political science than actual science. Of course, climate alarmists have tremendous political and financial incentives to continue their crusade, and as long as that's true they're not going away.

The main threat to climate hysteria is the actual scientific data and its proper analysis. A widely accepted global temperature dataset published by the University of Alabama at Huntsville shows only a +0.13 degrees Celsius per decade trend in the monthly anomaly data since 1979. The term “anomaly” refers to the deviation of a month's temperature from a 30-year baseline (average) temperature. The current baseline is the global mean for the period 1981-2010, and the temperatures in the global database are derived from measurements of the microwave emissions of oxygen in the lower troposphere using satellite sensors.

There are a few important notes about these measurements. First, assuming the Earth is approximately four billion years old, these four decades of satellite data represent one-millionth of 1% of geologic time. That is analogous to about three tenths of a second out of an entire year. Drawing important conclusions about Earth’s climate from such a razor-thin sliver of time would be foolhardy. Furthermore, there have been periods of climatic history that have been far warmer and far colder than today, and the fluctuations observed in the recent past may simply be variations of little consequence in a milder middle range. More importantly, the trend line of +0.13 degrees Celsius per decade with respect to a baseline mean implies that we are currently only about a quarter of a degree Celsius – less than half of degree Fahrenheit – over the baseline. In other words, much of the world is freaking out over a short-term average anomaly of a quarter degree Celsius, which could be caused by a large number of variable natural drivers. Popular science will not tell us that.

The professional science literature provides us with both sides, however. Three central questions climate scientists are actively trying to resolve pertain to feedbacks, causality, and model sensitivities. Negative climate feedbacks are mechanisms that cool the Earth or mitigate temperature increase. One of the most notable examples is the “iris effect”, a controversial theory proposed by MIT climate physicist Richard Lindzen and his co-workers, which states that warming water temperatures reduce cirrus cloud formation, resulting in greater heat loss and a net cooling effect. Recent independent research appears to confirm the theory. Studies of climate causalities seek to match observable climate states or outputs, e.g., temperature observations, to one or more inputs (i.e., causes). The main thesis behind anthropogenic climate change is that man-made CO2 is the source of nearly all recent global warming. Using a technique known as slow-feature analysis, researchers have mapped the Pacific Ocean’s El Niño–Southern Oscillation cycle and the Hale sunspot cycle to centuries of temperature records from central England. While central England is not a pure proxy for the world at large, the ability to link such diverse dynamics is a powerful argument that our Earth's thermostat is controlled by natural forces far greater than mankind. Results connecting natural global ocean cycles and regional surface temperatures are not unique. Finally, the effort to relate prescribed climate model sensitivities – parameters that fit theoretical models to empirical data – to global temperature observations has been one of the great disappointments of anthropogenic warming theorists. Princeton physicist Dr. William Happer has written about the CO2 doubling sensitivity, which scales each doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration to global temperature increase:

The doubling sensitivity S is how much the Earth’s average surface temperature will increase if the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 doubles. S is the most important single parameter in the debate over climate change.

As Happer goes on to note, the doubling parameter has been badly overestimated, and climate scientists have proposed more than fifty mechanisms to explain the discrepancy. Regardless, the theory is flawed, and the science is obviously not settled. Do not hold your breath waiting for the alarmists to admit it.